Even though this is more of a dissertation topic than a news column topic, I’ll do my best to give my opinion in this space.
I think America is going to witness a swift decline of all religions in the near future — especially the religions that encourage dependence on God. In fact, we’re already seeing this.
As the information age marches on and Americans become evermore accustomed to instantly accessing knowledge on any topic, the need for God lessens. This ability to immediately answer any question is creating a false sense of godliness, a heightened sense of power, and a swift decline in the belief that we need God for anything. The second chapter of Genesis warns us against this: “And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat …’” (Genesis 2:16-17a).
I don’t think information is evil and I don’t believe seeking knowledge is a sin, but deluding ourselves into believing that we should be all knowing tears us away from our Creator and makes us think we don’t need him. But we do need God. We need God for every breath we take, and pushing him away is the last thing we ought to do.
Rev. Laura Hutchinson, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Future issues will be as diverse as religion itself
Religion in America is very diverse. America is made up of people from all parts of the world indoctrinated in religions or beliefs that are different from what our founding fathers had in mind when they established “one nation under God with liberty and justice for all.” We are one nation but, from many different nations — we are not all under one God and we do not believe and worship the same.
I believe the future of religion in America will be impacted by the media as well as social media — Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. Technology allows ministers, theologians, historians, researchers, writers and lay people access to information. People of different religions can have informed conversations about their beliefs and practices, and people will be able to take a critical view of the teachings of religious leaders.
For Christians, false prophets will be exposed and churches that do not line up with the word of God will not stand. People will seek the truth and a relationship with God that is both spiritual and liberating.
In the future, religion will be more political as special interest groups continue to influence religious groups and elected officials to promote their agenda. Social justice will continue to influence religion as advocates continue to work for the marginalized and disinherited in society. Just as religion is diverse, so are the issues of the peoples.
Alberta McCrory, Gaines Chapel AME Church, Anniston